Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10
Seldom is the man who conveys around a camera and reality close to his eye, many forget one, some always deny the other, their choice, their take on truth and certainty; life is after all what we ourselves see and believe and whilst we might disagree with other’s perceptions, there is still So Much To Defend.
To the unblemished truth stands the talented Chris Wood, the sword and the quill drawn with equal measure from their respective holders and the authenticity of what the song writer has witnessed comes flooding across and the honesty, the candour of the man is such that you cannot forget the camera the next time you see something dreadfully amiss; for in life what is captured on the lens needs to be discussed at great length and not swept under the carpet.
Tackling the subjects that people would rather see placed into the vacuum cleaner of life is one that is hard to pull off, some just don’t care enough, some do but are limited in their understanding of just how sever some issues are and some, as well meaning as they may be, will often turn the camera off, they will even break the shutter or under expose the film. Chris Wood takes the universal camera and pen and shows with sadness and precision just exactly how the world is when you open our eyes and unlock your soul.
The album is personal, deeply so, there is no room for the extravagance, no need for the embellishments, this is a man painting a portrait of society and himself and allowing civilisation to truly gaze upon its own ugliness and its reflected, misrepresented glory.
With tracks such as the glorious multi lyrical aspect of Only A Friendly, 1887, The Strange End and More Fool Me all placing the integrity of humanity before any type of false narrative that would be deemed acceptable in the post truth world, Chris Wood scores direct hit after direct hit in the bows of lies and happy untrue scenarios.
There is So Much To Defend, and so much we should be angry about, the equal perverse issue is that they both exist side by side, the camera at times never sure which one to photograph first. So Much To Defend is truly excellent album of the Folk era, a recording that invokes hope that someone has framed the picture correctly.
Ian D. Hall